Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Bolton Stirs the War Pot

As China and Russia build their (fragile) alliances, the US amps up the new Cold War by urging Japan to mutliply its defense spending:
Shigeki Tosa in Washington and Yoshihiro Makino (2019). Bolton suggests fivefold rise in Japan’s spending on U.S. military. The Asahi Shimbun, July 31 2019,
See Michael Klare, A New Cold War in Asia? - TomDispatch (here) for discussion of the New Cold War in Asia.
What I admire most about the Japanese people is their strong sentiment toward peace.

Unfortunately, what I admire least about the American people is their willingness to be stirred up into a war frenzy by zealots such as Bolton.
Politicians who trade in hate and war betray the very foundations of security, rather than bolstering it.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Fracking Fires and Flaring Escalate Global Warming

Rebecca Elliott of the Wall Street Journal has been chronicling the increase in natural gas "flaring" in Texas: from 407 million cubic feet of gas a day in her December 2018 article to 740 million in her recently July 2019 article:
Rebecca Elliott July 17, 2019 Texas Showdown Flares Up Over Natural-Gas Waste. The Wal Street Journal,
...As shale companies turned America into the world’s top oil producer, they unlocked massive quantities of natural gas as a byproduct and Texas has allowed them to freely burn off vast volumes as area pipelines fill up. The process is known as flaring....
In the region’s two largest oil basins, the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford, operators flared or vented—where gas is released without being burned—into the atmosphere an average of about 740 million cubic feet of gas a day during the first quarter, according to public data compiled by energy analytics firm Rystad Energy....equivalent to that of nearly five million cars driving for a day....

Rebecca Elliott (2018, December 27). In Booming Oil Field, Natural Gas Can Be Free. The Wall Street Journal,

One option for Permian operators with too much gas is to light it on fire, a practice known as flaring. Flaring levels reached record highs in the Permian last quarter, when companies burned an average of 407 million cubic feet a day, according to analysis of public data compiled by Rystad Energy, an energy consulting firm.... equivalent to the daily exhaust emitted by about 2.7 million cars, according to estimates from the World Bank and Environmental Protection Agency.

This is non-sustainable. It's not just that our energy infrastructures are non-sustainable. The way we operate within them is just as problematic:  
Suzanne Goldenberg (2013, November 20) Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions. The Guardian, Exxon and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show

he climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.
The companies range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon and BP – to state-owned and government-run firms.
The analysis, which was welcomed by the former vice-president Al Gore as a "crucial step forward" found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas or coal, found the analysis, which has been published in the journal Climatic Change.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Is Fukushima Safe for Olympics?

The Nation asks whether Fukushima is safe for the Olympics:
Zirin, Dave & Boykoff, Jules (2019, July ). Is Fukushima Safe for the Olympics? The Nation,
A recent visit suggests that the repercussions of the 2011 nuclear disaster aren't over....  Despite this bleak scene, Kowata somehow brims with fighting energy. “The local people have come to me and told me to tell the world what is actually happening,” she said. “That’s where I get my strength. There are people getting sick. There are people who are dying from stress. The world needs to know.”

A compelling answer to this pressing question was offered by Koide Hiroaki:
Koide Hiroaki The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and the Tokyo Olympics
According to the report submitted by the Japanese government to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), this accident released 1.5x101 6 becquerels (Bq) of cesium 137 into the atmosphere—the equivalent of 168 Hiroshima bombs. One Hiroshima bomb’s worth of radioactivity is already terrifying, but we have the Japanese government acknowledging that the Fukushima disaster released 168 times the radioactivity of that explosion into the atmosphere.

And the Fukushima disaster ain't over yet, as the plant produces copious contaminated water and its radioactive pollutants are dispersed into the aquifer, the port, the Pacific Ocean, and the atmosphere.

Nuclear is not the solution to the world's pressing energy and climate problems.

Fukushima Daiichi July 25, 2019 4:04


Majia's Blog: Fukushima Anniversary Interview
March 11 2015 How did the Fukushima disaster change Japan as we knew it? Japanese public has become aware of the severe risks of nuclear power as 230,000 Japanese ...

Majia's Blog: Radiophobia on the Anniversary of Fukushima Daiichi's ...
Mar 11, 2017 - Reuters. (March 11, 2017). After Fukushima disaster, mothers don lab coats to measure radiation. The Asahi Shimbun ...

Majia's Blog: On Fukushima's Anniversary
Mar 11, 2016 - On Fukushima's Anniversary. Last night I told my husband that George Orwell was right. We are living in a world resembling Orwell's 1984.

Majia's Blog: Fukushima Anniversary: Nuclear is the Road Toward Our ...

Mar 10, 2014 - Fukushima Anniversary: Nuclear is the Road Toward Our Extinction. Please see a condensed transcript of my interview with Voice of Russia ...